|Ilan Ben Zion|
Mendy Moskowits, a member of the ultra-Orthodox Belz Hassidic sect in Jerusalem, doesn’t understand the uproar toward believers like him.
In recent weeks, ultra-Orthodox Jews have defied coronavirus restrictions by holding big funerals for beloved rabbis who died of COVID-19, celebrating large weddings, and continuing to send their children to schools. The gatherings have led to clashes with police and an unprecedented wave of public anger toward the religious community.
On Tuesday night, hundreds of ultra-Orthodox demonstrators protested lockdown restrictions, set dumpsters on fire, and faced off with police officers in Jerusalem.
Moskowits, like many other ultra-Orthodox faithful, says Israeli society doesn't understand their way of life and has turned his community into a scapegoat.
“The media gives us, in my opinion, a very bad misrepresentation,” he said.
The ultra-Orthodox community makes up about 12% of Israel’s 9.3 million people. Gilad Malach, a researcher at the Israel Democracy Institute, says ultra-Orthodox believers accounted for over a third of the country’s COVID-19 cases in 2020.
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